A Teenager Sued SDPD, and Was Documented as a Gang Member Soon After

This past March, Jamie Wilson received a letter from the San Diego Police Department, notifying her that her 17-year-old son had been added to CalGang, the state’s gang database. It didn’t give reasons — Wilson would have to appeal the decision to find out why he’d been added — but the timing seemed suspect. Only a few weeks earlier, on Feb. 14, the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties had filed a lawsuit on behalf of Wilson and her son, challenging when San Diego police can collect DNA from minors.

“I feel like they are punishing my son for filing this lawsuit,” Wilson said.

The lawsuit stems from a March 30, 2016, incident involving Wilson’s son, a minor referred to as “P.D.” in court documents, and four friends who were leaving the Memorial Park rec center after a basketball game. According to court records, detectives with the Police Department’s gang unit stopped the teens because the day was considered a gang holiday and some of the boys were wearing blue (P.D. was wearing red and blue). The boys, all of whom are black, were detained, handcuffed, questioned and patted down. In a duffel bag P.D. had been carrying, officers found an unloaded gun. According to court records, the gun was registered to one of the boys’ fathers.

The teens were photographed and told to sign a form to allow officers to collect a DNA sample via a cheek swab. P.D. was arrested, taken in for questioning and charged with carrying a concealed weapon. In a video of the interrogation, conducted prior to police notifying Wilson that they’d arrested her son, two detectives tell P.D. he’s an “underperforming person” who came from a “broken home” and attended a school for kids “who fuck up.” He was then taken to juvenile hall where he spent eight days before being placed on house arrest.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3206 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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